Visual Sequencing and Tracking Skills

Visual sequencing refers to the ability to organize images in a particular order. This skill is needed for success with reading, spelling (organizing letters in a particular order), mathematic operations, running bases in baseball, planning for moves in football, cheerleading, dancing, etc. The ability to organize visual images in any specific order begins with the ability to move the eyes from point to point

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Functional Vision: Beyond 20/20

Functional vision behavior includes more than 20/20 vision.  While use of vision for reading and handwriting or keyboarding are very important, use of the eyes for self care, guiding motor moves for coordination, identifying objects in the environment and determining  how they are used, are crucial for success with  independent living skills. Functional vision behavior can be strengthened through “play”,  by tapping into the

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Postural Control and Fine Motor Skills

Direct links exist between postural control and fine motor skills due to neuromotor pathways  that activate when heavy work is used.  The links include attention and control of movement for the muscles that move the eyes (i.e. reading) and those that move the hands (i.e. writing or keyboarding).   Postural control is an essential ingredient needed for successful  eye hand coordination skills.  When the

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Task Organization and Executive Functions

Practicing for success with Reading Comprehension Math ● Science ● Technology Task Organization is an “executive function” that is organized at the highest level  within the cortex of the brain.  Executive Functions have been described as a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  According to WebMD examples of executive functions include: Managing time Paying attention Switching focus Planning and organizing Remembering

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Fine Motor Skills Part 2

The Visual Component The ability to use vision to guide the sequencing of  motor output is a defining point in the development of fine motor competency. Acquisition of this skill allows for use of tools for self care, including utensils as well as grooming aids such as combs for hair care and razors for shaving. A growing child will also need to learn to

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Fine Motor Skills Part 1

The Motor Component combines visual guidance with hand function skills Fine motor skills develop throughout infancy and continue to develop through the teen years.  Initial developmental skills with hand function are directed toward success with: simple grasp patterns the ability to separate fingers for object manipulation the ability to use both hands together During the preschool years, grasp patterns mature to include recruiting vision

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Strengthening Visual Perception Skills

Intentionally incorporating vision with hand function   Visual perceptual skills do not operate in isolation.  For efficiency, the brain incorporates eye movements with neural pathways that extend to include language, vestibular, and hand function skills.  This is one of the primary reasons why many  pediatric occupational therapists provide “heavy work” movement activities for children before sitting them down at a table for hand function

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Bilateral Motor Control

Bilateral Motor Control refers to incorporating use of both sides of the body during motor activities.  The processes are also commonly referred to as Bilateral Motor Integration.   Typically, bilateral motor control refers to incorporating either symmetrical  or reciprocal motor patterns.  An example of symmetrical motor patterns is shown above as the children lift both arms of their bodies in a joyous expression.  An example

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Capturing Attention

Heavy work activities are often used to improve postural control and upper body stability.   The heavy work helps to modulate attention and to prepare the upper body to support follow up fine motor skills.  However, physioball walk outs  and other resistive activities commonly used for heavy work can easily become routine, resulting in decreased attention to task and postural control. We found a discounted

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Impacting Your Environment? Fingers Please!

In part, because the fingers are situated away from the center of the body, and they require more brain power to access, coordinated improvement of finger patterns are among the latest to develop during childhood. Infants are born with grasp pattern reflexes that allow them to hold objects early in development.  However, integrated patterns of touch sensations followed by motor expression begin to take

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